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The Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow was completed in 1934 and is part of the Haavel-Oder waterway connecting the Elbe and Oder river basins. The waterway begins in Berlin at the Spandau lock and opens into the West Oder at the border area between Poland and Germany..

The current Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow (a new and much larger one is due to open in 2017 and replace this one) is 52 meters high (171 feet) by 27 meters wide (89 feet) and 94 meters long (308 feet).

Boats and barges enter the trough and are lowered or lifted  at a speed of 7 meters or 23 feet per minute. It takes approximately 20 minutes for a vessel to complete the entire passage through the Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow, including loading, securing and exiting. The actual lifting and lowering only takes 5 minutes.

The trough you will see in this video weighs 4,290 tons when filled with water and is lifted or lowered by 192 counterweights via cables and deflection rollers – quite a marvel to watch in action!

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Research your visit to Berlin by looking at all the articles and recommendations we have made from personal experience here.

Purchase a Berlin Welcome Card and ride public transport for free plus receive discounts of up to 50 percent with museums and numerous other Berlin attractions.

Here are several guidebooks on Berlin we recommend: Lonely Planet Berlin (Travel Guide); Rick Steves Berlin; and DK Eyewitness Guide to Berlin.

Be prepared for anything. When travel goes bad, you must be prepared, which is why we never leave home without the right travel insurance and good travel emergency evacuation coverage. We rely on Global Rescue for emergency evacuation coverage and medical advice and IMG Signature Travel Insurance whenever we need additional protection beyond what is provided with our credit cards. Learn more about IMG Signature Travel Insurance, provided in partnership with Global Rescue here.

Learn to speak a bit of German so you can get around more easily and don't stand out as a tourist! Read our story Start to learn languages – Top language learning apps and websites.